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Democrats bust buns knocking doors and phone banking every presidential election year, only to leave the thus-hard-won list of contacts out on the front lawn in the rain–till the next presidential election. By then, it’s in faded tatters.  Will anybody in the audience who has never bitched about this failing please raise his hand? …. Right. Just as I thought.

But this time, it’s different. Organizing for America (OFA), which has all the Obama voter data, is now an official arm of the DNC. And the plan is to keep building on that list. Missouri has five staffers. In fact, forty-three states, including Alaska, if you can believe it, have OFA staff.

Their job is to:

  • Further Obama’s agenda. Right now that means helping getting health care reform passed, of course.
  • Grow the organization.

Saturday, for example, OFA volunteer, Jo Ann, will take as many people as she can get to canvass at the Kirkwood Farmer’s Market from 9:30 to 2:30 (two shifts–9:30 to noon; noon to 2:30). Volunteers will be looking for voters to commit themselves to action. The action might be a promise to call or e-mail their legislators about health care reform whenever the word goes out from OFA, or it might be to call or visit voters who identified themselves as Democrats last fall and see if they’re willing to remain active.

If you live in the St. Louis area and are willing to help, contact Kyle Juvers, the Regional Field Director for South, Mid, and West St. Louis County, as well as for Jefferson County and, believe it or not, Southeast Missouri. (Kyle worked the Cape Girardeau area for Obama’s campaign last year, so he’s  coordinating what he can there from a distance.) His contact info is:

kyle.juvers@obamaalumni.com

314-578-9678

If you don’t live in St. Louis, you can find information about events in your area by logging onto:

http://www.barackobama.com

http://www.healthcare.barackobama.com

http://www.facebook.com/OFAMO.

If you have a question–like, for example, which OFA person oversees your area–e-mail OFAMISSOURI@DNC.org.

OFA aims to set up neighborhood teams over the next three years, and the way to build those teams is by personal contacts. Two weeks ago this coming Sunday, Democrats held a 2,000 person rally at the IBEW union parking lot to rev up the troops about health care reform. That’s all well and good, but nothing is as powerful as personal contact. Movie premieres may help drum up interest in a film, but nothing is more likely to convince you to see it than having an acquaintance praise it and urge you to go.

Just remember that if you don’t volunteer some time to this effort, it’s like you’re leaving last fall’s work lying on the front lawn in the rain.

P.S. South St. Louis County residents can get more details about being active by attending Kyle Juvers’ meeting Saturday from 10:30-11:30 at the Weber Road branch of the St. Louis County Library (4444 Weber Road, 63123). I attended a similar meeting Thursday night. Kyle promised we would be out by 7:30 and we were.